Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Good Bones

Last year we discovered that Edward was allergic to dairy and salicylates. They have been tricky allergies to deal with, but after a year, I have wrapped my head around them. One of the many things he cannot eat is commercial stock. And so I have started making my own, something I have always thought complicated and messy. I always thought you had to use a whole, fresh chook and I considered it messy to get all that meat off and not sure what how to use it afterwards. I have since leant that a roasted chicken carcass can be used. We enjoy roast chook pretty often. The next day, I put the carcass in a pot with some salt, an onion, parsnip, celery (I use the leafy ends, and not the edible part) and fill with water. You could add herbs or a carrot, but I don't, for Eddie's sake. I simmer this for about four hours. Then I strain, refridgerate, bag (two cups lots into a ziplock bag) and freeze flat. It is so lovely to have homemade stock and so much easier than I thought.


What I have also dicovered this winter is the benefits of cooking with bones. When it comes to chicken I have always had a tendency to use the breast or thigh cuts, the easy and quick option. Lately though, I have been buying marylands. These are a cheaper cut with more meat than a drumstick and the lovely flavour from the bones. I don't own a slow cooker but have found that my oven set at 160' is just as good. The flavour from this cut of meat is just great.

I have also learnt that the old rememdy of chicken soup, gains it health giving properties from the bones. The components of them, slow cooked over hours are why chicken soup is beleived to be so therapuetic. When Kate was sick recently, I once again bought the marylands, and simmered them in a pot with some finely diced vegetables, lots of garlic and a couple of handfuls of basmati rice for about four hours. The rice completely dissintegrated and the chicken shredded right off the bones, which I fished out at the end. Delicious, even for those of us who weren't sick. I fed her a few spoon fulls every hour.

I can assure you that the beautiful flavours and the therapuetic benefits of cooking with bones are all well worth the effort.


kelly said...

i'm sorry to hear that edward has these allergies to face. it must have been worrying for you all whilst things were diagnosed. it's good however that his mum is a star in the kitchen!

we're just stepping into autumn here and i can't think of anything more comforting than a bowl of chicken soup. i sometimes freeze the whole leftover carcass of our sunday roast if i can't get round to doing a stock or soup straight away. Xx

Julia said...

Your friends are right - what you know about food makes for interesting and helpful blog posts. Thanks! Edward is lucky to have a mum like you. J x

sarah-jane down the lane said...

I love it that you have chicken cuts called Marylands, everything over here is much more mundane and practical! I think I will fox my butcher later by asking him for some Maryland Chicken, Naughty girl!
Sarah x

Little Munchkins said...

I try to make my own stock when I can too. I buy chicken carcass from the supermarket but if there's a butcher near you, it might be cheaper.

monica said...

now I want chicken soup.

Must make chicken soup. Must.

Kat said...

Hi - I just found your blog via Kylie's Crafts. I have allergies with salicylates and amines as well as a bunch of food colourings. We have known since I was in grade 5 and I am now 22. After a while it becomes second nature but in the beginning it can be hard to keep track of. My biggest thing is I am allergic to chocolate!